tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN May 23, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EDT
other members of the government to go through the motions of the more substantive inquiry. and we do not know where that inquiry will go. so that is bad news. the civil-military equation is now under discussion and the military's budget is now the focus of attention. the other area on which i would like to make a brief remark is pak relations. you cannot be a what is the status of india- pakistan relations? i remember going on a trip with a former prime minister in 2004, just when the diplomacy with india and was launched, and
he was talking about the iran- pakistani-indian pipeline. he said, what about trade? what about other issues, and pakistan was not ready to drop trade. today the situation is that pakistan is ready to talk. the foreign secretary's of various departments -- everybody is on their way to india, and indians are on their way to pakistan to talk, and this is a very good development. it has the support of the opposition. the government is always in favor, and the army is not opposing it anymore. the interesting question is
that they were about to achieve something. certainly, there was not a solution as in the un resolutions, so there were many concessions made, but when we should have got into trouble in 2007, that process came to khatami halt -- to a halt, because the indians felt we ought to get out of that six first before we went forward. maybe they said, this is tricky, we ought to get out of this first, but that did not happen. what did happen was mumbai, and i remember saying to my indian friends, and get back on track.
this is why this thing happened, but indian politicians have to look at their own constituencies, and there was no obstacle from the pakistani side. i know that for a fire. the obstacles -- i know that for a fact. the obstacles were all from india, and this despite the fact that the indian prime minister was very keen to get back on track, but domestic politics stop him from doing so, and india continued preconditions. the preconditions are off the table. we have lost a lot of time, but the preconditions are off the table. u.s.-pakistan relations have
hit rock bottom, and in many ways, this is the preeminent dialogue that predominates everything else. it also impact civil relationships. just as there once was a mumbai, there may be another, and then what will happen? will it be derailed again? what is irresponsible remarks from the indian side that if the americans can do it, so can we -- of course the americans can do it, but you cannot do it, and a broker in response was given to the indians, which has created another problem.
>> thank you. i want to begin by taking suzanne -- thanking suzanne and all the people who have undertaken this important work during your the importance of this work is to take a comprehensive look of the problems facing pakistan, and i would like to make three related points. the first is but the united states relationship with pakistan has predominantly been .ith pakistan's military whether it has been intentional or not, the fire that u.s. government has strengthened groups of coercion in pakistan and begin groups that promote room -- weakened groups of
promote our rule of law. they continue to meet without the involvement of officials in the department of defense. in another example, the supreme court justice insisted security agencies act in accordance to the constitution of pakistan by producing people they have in their custody. for that, he was dismissed from office. it was convenient and they got rid of the supreme court justice. the u.s. government was more concerned with pressing the war on terror than promoting their rule of law in pakistan common -- in pakistan, and it was not u.s. pressure that return to justice to his share. it was a popular move in
pakistan that led to the reinstatement. we have learnt that more than 70% of the money given to pakistan since the december 11 have gone to the military, and we have heard it is unclear what the military has done with that. it is also unclear what happened to the other 30%, $6 billion over the last 10 years. i would like to put the figure into perspective. it sounds like a lot of money, but the big -- of the pakistani- american community contributes $1 billion annually in cash, $4 billion annually in labor to philanthropic activities. the second point is that the people of pakistan should not be punished for the failings are of the government. the military has repeatedly
undermined civilian governments, and the people of pakistan have repeatedly rose up in defense of their democratic rights. what we have witnessed in tunisia and egypt has already happened three times in pakistan, in the late 1965 as, the late 1980 cause, and from 2007 until 2009. there is no country on the planet whose population has a more this favorable view of the united states government and pakistan. a major source of anti- americanism is the popular perception that the u.s. government supports military governments for u.s. geostrategic interests, including the proxy war in afghanistan to dispel the soviet union and the direct war against the taliban today, and
then the u.s. government abandons or even punishes the civilian government when geostrategic points of the unsatisfied. this occurred in 1990, when president george herbert walker bush allowed sanctions against pakistan for its nuclear weapons program. as long as the soviet army was in afghanistan, u.s. president prevented those sanctions authorized by congress from going into affect. the military sanctions were lifted in 1985, but it was only after september 11 that the non- military component was lifted. that is because the u.s. government needed the support of the pakistani military to prosecute the war in afghanistan.
as was said on wednesday in new york at the launch i watched, u.s. policy has involved carrots for the military and six for the people -- sticks for the people. the pakistani economy is already in a precarious state. the government is likely to cut expenditure when the budget is announced next week to meet targets for budget deficit reduction. is not going to make it easier to increase funding for health and education. a tax surcharge was imposed on those already paying taxes, and import duties were imposed. the discussion of aid to
pakistan has already had a negative affect on the economy. they decided not to cause our raise in the discount rate, and inflation is truly devastating for the pakistani who managed to scrape by on the equivalent of $2 per day, so even the talk of cutting aid on pakistan has had a damaging affect. the third point is a component i believe needs greater attention, but it is vital to pakistan costs future, and that is role of lenin in creating us just pakistan. women spurred -- that is the role of women in creating a just
pakistan. they have an average of four children. at this rate, they will have 450 million people by 2015. research indicates the women would like to have two children. arthur low is famously wrote of the whole secret of national development is raising the rate from 2% to 4%. i believe the key is reducing pakistan costs fertility rate now -- pakistan's fertility rate to 2%. i am not saying it is because the resources would be severely stressed smith with a population of 450 million people, and -- stressed with a population of 450 million people, which is true. they already face lack of
resources. the reason for saying the fertility rate needs to be lowered is increasing the opportunity for participation in public life. government attention to public life is very pour in pakistan. in was not until 2004 before they allowed the word condom to appear on television. president obama mentioned the commitment of the u.s. government to infant and maternal health and will increase, and i think pakistan should be a focus of that commitment. 18,000 pakistani women die every year giving birth. that is far more than the number who died at the hands of militants in 2001, but the everyday security of women gets little public attention.
in pakistan there are eight soldiers for every doctor. there is no secret to the key of higher public participation of women. they ask the public expenditure real ray's -- be raised. it is crucial, as is the proposal for an accountable and predictable system for teacher recruitment. thank you. [applause] >> let me take the property. let me throw out a couple questions to the panelists, and we will open it up.
you said -- i think it is a popular view, but you have to look at what point you are looking at. if you did this in 1998 or perhaps two years from now, you may have a different number, which is not to say people do not want democracy, but there is more important point. people want performance. my question to you is something i have grappled with for a long time, which is, as civilians of privacy in pakistan -- those civilian decide to go to the barracks, or do they decide the credibility gets to the point that from the people who, there
is a push to say this is what we want. you have mentioned the issue of india and pakistan, and i have argued set pakistan's stability travels through new delhi. india is the status quo power, and yet thing india gained a lot by normalizing pakistan. is it going to be held hostage by the process, and in definitely there will always be problems? is there a way that pakistan can move internally to avoid -- is it necessary and sufficient, or is it something that must happen, but if it does not, we can still move on?
you raise a point of fertility rates, but i want to take it to a slightly different issue. now here is a country with multiple problems. you have said you have got to do all these things. i do not know any country in the world that can do all these things in a given time, let alone a country with all sorts of problems. is not just about education. is there a way pakistan can prioritize what this report has put out? in some ways, you are overwhelming the states that is already in trouble by saying, good luck. how does one go about doing that? >> thank you very much. first, i want to make a
correction, and that comes from a twitter message. the website i mentioned who was off, but it is back on. i checked it, and that is good news. the good news is is up and back, and i must correct my words. i mention that was a great effort. there is the central question about democracy. my point of view is democracy takes time. it is a step-by-step process. in 1998, the university got
largely discredited. a military dictator made those discredited leaders relevant again. if the process continues, their respective of performance, -- irrespective of performance, democracy starts and -- people start asking questions, partly because there is expectation from people. we want change, but the role of the pakistani intelligence agencies in 1990 is very well- documented. if that role is taken out, maybe they decide to go back on their own. they are pushed back out of government.
he went to his home, and one of his children was using the abuse against him, not knowing what it means, because it was so popular. he was too busy dismantling pakistan, but he could not stay there. musharraf was pushed out, and in the current context, our leadership it seems has learned a lesson. sharif played that game in 1990. he can get a chance to come back, i have a feeling he might need some support from the military, but by and large, he has taken a strong stance, which is unprecedented. let's talk very briefly about
this government. the constitutional amendment, of bringing the parties together, ensuring all those coalition remains, and this is happening when pakistan is facing this activity. u.s. demands are increasing. i am thankful for reminding me about that tariffs and six -- carrots and sticks. i was making the case that whenever there is a military
leader, the united states is somewhat soft in interacting with those leaders. demands can also skyrocket. a times making demands that are well-intentioned but make it impossible for the political leader to remain popular and get elected next time. if tariff is a political government that is surviving, this is how it will change. -- if there is a political government that is surviving, this is how it will change. in the mind set, when you start reading in the fifth grade the book that all your great innovators were also heads of the state, it is in your mind set that in this tradition,
every leader was also a general, so when you see a general, those things have changed in a step-by-step process. >> one reason i talked of only two issues -- india-pakistan problem and the military -- it is because they are linked, and budgets are linked to that. everything is laid to that. to answer your question, yes, i think the peace process has to come to a combination. it is a necessary condition. having said that, you talked about the military's population going up and down.
the military's popularity was up whenever a military dictators seized power, and it was down whenever they take that dictator out, and the same thing happen with musharraf. he was very popular when he took power in extremely unpopular when he left power. there are other times when you can also gauge the popularity of the military, and only recently they enjoyed a high degree of respect and confidence, and polls have shown consistently that the people of pakistan trusted and believed in the military more than any other institution by far, including the judiciary, but if you were to take a poll today, that would
not be the case, so we now have a situation that is different from what we have seen in the past. this is not a moment when -- the military's stock was high when it was out of power, and the military's stock was down, and it is out of power, so this is the first time you have two indicators. my feeling is that this is a very significant moment for pakistan, and the military will have a hard time living goes down, partly because for the first time the media has come in tarascan important questions triggered -- come in to ask important questions. this is the same military that was actually saluting -- this is the same media that was actually saluting the general, and today they are asking very hard
questions, not just of the military's role in the affair, but also the reason, so i think this is a significant moment, and for the first time the opposition, the media, and the people of pakistan are asking the right questions. i do not think it will turn back, because when the report comes through, there will be more discussion, and if it does not come through, there will be continuing discussion, and it is not entirely inconceivable that new facts may be revealed relating to that episode that would continue to put pressure on the military, and he may be under pressure to do things, so i st. to answer your question, this is a different moment in -- so i think to answer your question, this is a difficult
moment. whether parliament can seize this moment and institutionalize it, it may be too early to say, but i think there will never have been a better moment than this. >> thank you. i will read through your two- part question. i would like to take the second part first, and that is about religious sensitivity. you mentioned fertility is not nearly about her religion, and i say that don't religious' attempts to undermine that need in pakistan? i want to note the survey research indicates that when an -- women would prefer to have half as many children as they do, and i want to reiterate that it is not the point that fewer people mean fewer mouths to
feed and less stress on natural resources and less stress on the labour market. mine is a principal point that this is what pakistani women themselves indicate they want, and this would allow a greater opportunity to participate in the public's fear of -- public sphere. i would also like to take of the subject of religious sensitivity. there is nothing in the koran and knows saying or action by the prophet mohammed that indicates women should have as many children as they can or the family should not use family planning techniques. the profit recommended the family planning technique within a day to his companions and others, and this has been noted
in other countries, in iran, in indonesia, that he had been very successful in promoting a family-planning campaign, showing the koran indicates what islam some just for families that are a healthy family, not a large family, and a healthy family can be promoted by proper birth spacing and use of contraception. the second point you made was about the report feeling a bit like a laundry list, and i took the question to mean, is this not a laundry list? i think not. i think what could be referred y. as a macro policie jack montgomery at harvard wrote about macro policies for many years.
unfortunately, he passed away before you started your fellow should there. he wrote about macro policies common -- you started your fellowship there. he wrote about macro policies, and i see your view as being highly integrated. i think all the components, rule of law, focus on health and education, internal security, peace with india, all of these point to the same thing, which is achievement-centered security policy -- of human-centered security policy it reflects my own failure in convincing an -- security policy. >> it reflects my own failure of failing to convince. i would like to open it up. we can discuss anything else theory good -- anything else. i just want to ask the 51 to say anything. >> no. >> if i can ask that you go to a
microphone. if you can just come to the microphone one by one and ask questions as close to the microphone as possible, and reintroduce yourself. >> thank you. i am an independent scholar. i am delighted to see so many friends, whom i commend for putting out a comprehensive report, which talks about the subject i have spent much of my career on. it is not a report about a pakistani relations. there is an inclusive and recommendation to the united states -- implicit recommendation to the united states to support the kinds of goals in the report, and i want to take issue with a couple of things my friends said and to bring this back to the issue of civil military relations.
my reading of history is that the united states ended part of the civilian sanctions in the late 1990 because. and military sanctions were not ended until after 9-11, and pakistan did not even give the back of monday's it paid back until 1998 when -- back the money it paid until 1998. if you want to hear more on that, it is in my book. kris's description of the history of u.s.-pakistan relations is what i would describe as the pakistani narrative. there is a different u.s. narrative, the burden of which is we have had three marriages and two divorces. each of force came about because pakistan and -- each divorce came about because pakistan was
on willing to live with the markers the united states laid down. in 1995, it was using u.s. weapons in a war with india. then it was the nuclear program, but there is a gap between the country's strategic objectives, and i do not think the united states needs to apologize for following these geopolitical interests, but that has consequences, and when this comes back to that i think in order to deal west the u.s. -- to deal with the u.s. side of this, because it is definitely going to impact aid flow -- i think you have to start addressing government questions and military accountability questions.
i was moved by your optimism that it is going to be the moment when for the first time there is an investigation of an army failure, but i was not convinced by it, and i wonder how you envisage pakistan and the army going from calling for an investigation to actually doing one that is reasonably candid and releasing it. >> thank you. the question along the state line, looking at the report on the issue of civil and military relations, the question i have
is how should this affect u.s. policy, and there is a reference in the report to the united faiths and -- the united states and important allies and better organizing democratic leaderships. is that all, or is there more? what is the mean for u.s. assistance, and what does that mean for u.s. priorities cc in terms of going after outside the -- after al qaeda? >> i said this is an unprecedented moment, and i indicated earlier in the military is supposed sioux it. it will remain a nagging -- is opposed to it. it will remain an issue.
that is a great start. good i do not think the military wants to know why they failed. we have a right to ask these questions, and this is the first time this is happening, and that is good enough for me. second, you talk about u.s. aid, and the gentleman said something about u.s. policy. there is something else that is worth looking at seriously. the same media that is demanding accountability is also saying we do not need this relationship with the united states. they are saying we do not need u.s. aid, and they are saying,
what is the argument? today they have written an article in the media saying we do not need u.s. aid, and we should not go for u.s. aid. why has this issue, -- come up? one is because congress is making of a noise, and people are asking where is the money. here is the answer. in 10 years, maybe $20 billion has come into pakistan. maybe 14 billion has gone to the industry. of the 5 billion, maybe 1 billion has been skimmed off by
politicians. of the other four, most of it has gone to government support. it has not really gone into development expenditures. the thing is the people of pakistan are saying, where is his u.s. aid? we do not see it anywhere. we do not see it in the form of hospitals. we do not see it in the form of affluence. where is this your eighth going thelma -- this is u.s. aid going? this is what the military has to show for itself? the people of pakistan are getting nothing out of it, and then they say, what is of a deal out of 1.5 million everybody in america is talking about?
for 5 billion has been disbursed this year. for the first term the u.s. is challenging the pakistani military. it has gone up to 45% now, so at the end of the day, where is this the u.s. aid? with that is why the opposition in the media is saying we do not want the u.s. aid. the politicians are not making the right decisions that need to be taken to put the economy right, to do all the things they need to do to build the economy out. perhaps this is what we need, and if you do not get that u.s. aid, the politicians will have to take a hard decisions they are not taking today, and that
is what we need. we need to stand up on our own feet so we can then negotiate on the basis of the matt take interest. people are talking about the jerez -- carrot and stick. we have seen that from 2008 until 2009, so we made things from bad to worse. ok, maybe that was just as well. maybe if it had continued, we might have gone to our senses and put our house in order. it gives our ruling elite a high.
let them take responsibility when for doing what they need to do, so if there is a debate about what is happening to tax payer money, the debate in pakistan is, we do not need it. let's say to the united states, we do not want it. the media is calling for an end to our dependence on the united states, and now the opposition leader has come out openly and said, we do not need it. >> let me take to other questions and come back to the panel. >> you have mentioned two indicators that gave you heart as recent developments unfolded,
but isn't there a third indicator which would really suggest maybe some people are coming into their senses? i am thinking of our reference which is in the report but which was not brought up this morning, and that is the five that there is an insurgency. it hasn't who -- the fact there is an insurgency. it is a radical growth with an agenda, so if it is going to require progress in those other two areas, the allegiance -- elites and the public take a far more realistic view of the threat which is facing, instead of the of experiencing the result of thought -- of that
insurgents say -- insurgency, they place the blame where it should be, so i am asking, is that not a third indicator, which i think is going to be critical of the other two were to fall into place? >> i wanted to ask a question -- he hit hard on a couple of reasons [inaudible] i ask you this because you are one of the few well-informed journalists in the media today. how much of our role does the media play in shaping public perception as far as conspiracy
theories in the united states? is it u.s. policy that has rarely played so much of our role, or is it the military? >> i would like to start off by addressing the question. i thank you for the clarification is. the history of sanctions is a bit more complicated than you or i have time for just now. and mentioned the lifting in 1995 and again in 2001. i did not mention the military tests and the sanctions that followed that, and i would recommend for anybody interested in thinking about this, ambassador schafer's book, which is about how pakistani is negotiate, and i look forward to using that in my course next
here. it is great to know you are going to have a great centex but for your course a month in advance. -- a great textbooks for your course of months in advance. i do not think he is a basis for a solid relationship. i do not think it is surprising that political opposition in pakistan and much of the population is in favor of declining all u.s. aid, and i would like to mention that the that theconditionality us u.s. has to provide access for example, that the initiative for goodwill -- when i read the act, it was in there.
there were conditionality is about pakistan remaining civilian governments, so my sense is disclosed -- is it is the conditionality is itself which make when impression. it is about how the united states pays for it, and if there are those station mechanisms, one feels that is not a solid relationship. >> closer to the microphone, please. >> i talked about my sources of optimism. let me tell you more to make you unhappy. the thing is there is no consensus in the organs of the
state government or opposition for media on that issue you talk about needs to be resolved, and this is the incredible thing. the debate is about the violation of sovereignty why the united states. it is not about how high debt and everything else. we did not about how high debt and everything else. -- it is not about how kinda -- al qaeda or anything else. now i said the chickens are coming home to roost. where will this go? i do not know. the security apparatus, police to deal with internal security,
does not exist. today in washington, you have a friend of mine in washington today. he was ahead of nafta, an organization created to deal with terrorism. he had his office. he sat with 26 employees, waiting for the budget to come through, the budget would not come through, because there was no money to give him $20 million, and this was supposed to be our equivalent of national intelligence that you set up after 9-11, and he was a fine officer, and when he finally got when money, they could not pass
an ordinance legalizing his set up. why? because they said the prime minister should head this task force, and the interior minister said no, the interior minister should head the task force, so the ordinance was never passed because of the conflict, and he resigned from office two months ago, so to talk about any internal action, i did not see that happening in the short term. number two, something else is happening, again in relation to the war on terror, and this is bad news, stoo. the media and opposition are now saying to the government you must organize the pakistani air
force to shoot the drones and out of the sky, and they are saying failing the american response to a joint control of the drones, pakistan should stop nato from moving to pakistan. this is part of the resolution through by sharif and with support of the media, so the thing this on the one hand they are talking about civilian institutions and peace with india and control of the military. on the other hand, they are bending into public opinion. no, we do not need u.s. aid as. we need to stop the drift -- stop the drones, and this despite the fact of the pakistani military has gone on record to say the drones are
useful. despite the fact that wikileaks has revealed the pakistani military is on board who drone policy, that they are useful. there is good news, and bad news, which is why it is complex. >> if you want to listen to the analysis, i would encourage you to watch this -- our hope someone is translating its. it will provide a lot of perspective. it is one of the most of their tv programs in pakistan. i would also -- when of the most
popular tv programs in pakistan. i just have one point to make about a question about what this means for u.s. aid, and one of the conditions is that at least 50% of the money from counter- terrorism should go to police. i huge police infrastructure exists in pakistan. it is a matter of resources. it is the intelligence bureau. they give money from the civilian budget, but a big jump always went to military. good -- a big chunk always went
to military. >> technically, if you were to eat with the police and give them lots of money, they would -- to a clip of police and give them lots of money, they would -- equip the police and give them lots of money, they would do it. one reason they want to do it internally is because they have a complex network they need to grow jerrick. -- to protect. >> can you hear me? >> i would like to congratulate you all, all those who participated in this report. i think it is very timely, and i
look forward to reading it. it sounds like a real contribution. the second point i would like to associate myself with this discussion of u.s.-pakistan relations. it seems the problem is what it has always been. sometimes our interests coincide, and sometimes they did not, and that does not make for a steady relationship. the underlying problem has not changed, but my question is seeking advice from the panel. the wilson center is in the process of doing a study on u.s. aid into pakistan and. we have come up with some givens that they're pretty who obvious, and you have alluded to some of them, namely that we have got to
do a better job of explaining the mechanics of a. what is the difference between obligated money and all of that so you do not have the spectacle of the finance minister saying we've done $345 million worth of aid, and the american say that is wrong. we have given you $900 million. we ought to be on the same sheet of music, and that is something we ought to do to clarify and explain what it is and when it is going to come out, and when it is not going to come out. it seems to me and we need a sharper focus. even though there are five priority areas -- energy, education, health -- i forget the others. it seems to me when i look at this thing is all over the place, and it would be better if
we did in one or two things where we could make a difference, and which could be just education, health, something like that. that is not my question. it turns out that one of the changes goldberg instituted was that 50% of the aid is going through who the government of pakistan who, with ministries of pakistan, and apart from administration problems, there are all sorts of complaints that there is a lack of capacity, which surprises me. there is corruption, and most serious of all, when we put in money for education, would pakistan does is cut $5 million from the education budget.
how do you deal with that? one idea we had is that instead of just granting money, we have to do a cash on delivery arrangements, where the building is to be a school building, then pakistan builds it, and then we pay, or you do a partnership where it is 50-50, but pakistan could set the 51st, -- puts in 50, and we follow through. >> [inaudible] i have spent time in agency. i think there is a narrative. pakistan needs to democracy.
the way you do that is foreign aid. i think the proposition is not supported by historic evidence. no country is really built on historic asian. -- historic aid. the point i am trying to make is set -- the pakistan generates a% of its revenue -- 8% of its revenue -- [inaudible] foreign aid comes with bells and whistles, you must do this common -- you must do this.
>> thank you for a much for this point. we are not making a case for more aid. we are paying in respect of of whether there is u.s. aid or not -- in respective -- irrespective of whether there is a born not. -- aid or not. [unintelligible] there are people in pakistan who are standing up and -- survey up to the extremists and --
from the washington institute. [inaudible] what does the organization look like today? guest: al qaeda has operated as a committee. they consult each other. they just elected an interim leader. we are always trying to learn more about al qaeda. it seems as if initially a small group of people have selected this new interim leader on a temporary basis. host: we hear about new information as cia operatives
search through the file. does it surprise you that he had some much material there and he thought he would not be caught? guest: osama bin laden had grown accustomed to be in a safe location that he -- i think he got lazy. he never expected this day to come. it was to our benefit. [unintelligible] there are various people at the highest level that sympathized with their agenda. an example is in saudi arabia. some agree at a very basic level. very simple robberies in the
shakedowns. there are a number of sources. criminal enterprises to fund their efforts. there are a variety of sources. host: we heard this week from defense secretary gates the essentially telling government officials to shut up. they are talking about what they learned. guest: success has a thousand fathers. everyone wants a few moments in the spotlight. people are trying to understand the situation. some talk about how dramatic the raid was. people want to understand everything they can.
this fight has not ended. it will continue for a while. [inaudible] it is nice secretary gates wants to come out like that. part of debt is there is some confusion in war. it takes time to get their assessment. it is a political environment. people want to get ahead of the game. i am hoping that people are responsible. host: we will get to your calls and comments in just a moment. you can call us or send us an e- mail. friday afternoon, the president
traveling to cia headquarters in virginia as part of his thank- you towarur. >> make no mistake, this is not over. because we not only to cut the simple and operational leader of al qaeda and walked away with his files, the largest treasure ever seized of terrorist leaders. today, every terrorist in the al qaeda network should be watching their backs, because we are going to review every video, examine every photo, read every one of those millions of pages and pursue every lead. we will go wherever it takes to finish the job. we will defeat al qaeda.
host: what is next? what does the obama administration need to do and the intelligence community need to do? guest: we need to exploit whatever intelligence we gathered from the bin laden compound. we need to uncover any current plots and track down and mob -- map out in greater detail al qaeda networks. one thing we have to be careful about is to think that al qaeda is finished with the death of osama bin laden. you have to pursue the leadership of terrorist organizations, and eliminate the physical safe haven and areas they used to rest.
[inaudible] various affiliates in al qaeda. there is an al qaeda group in so malia and various other countries. -- so malia and various other countries. -- somalia and various other countries. host: here is a comment. guest: i cannot speak to how large al qaeda is in general. in yemen, the rule of thumb is that the members are around 100.
many pass of the support al qaeda and provided them mining or homes to stay in for the evening. that is the challenge we are in. but you have to address the underlying factors that lead to passably supporting them. al qaeda is very pragmatic in what it needs to get power and a station different communities. it slaughtered numerous iraqi. in the yemen, they are very cognizant who has authority. they are very sensitive to that. host: in the corporate world, there is a mission or business plan. is there a plan of business for al qaeda?
guest: the overarching goals have not shifted that much since it began. they would love to get rid of these apostate governments as they look within the middle east that they feel are in power because the united states has affected them. the saudi family, some governments in the middle east. they refer to them as the near enemy and the far enemy is the united states. they think if they want the united states through 9/11 and other attacks, it will prompt us to withdraw some of our support from government in the middle east. east. the goal is far off.
host: what is the role of saudia arabia in all of this? guest: they made this deal early on between one families and a religious revival group. they adopted a fundamentalist vision of islam, which was reformist years ago. they have this agreement. saudis have often funded certain items around the world for social and richmond. they also recruit places and have converted a lot of people. they have made their vision of islam more appealing to a larger number of people. they are not totally responsible
for that. the government of iran -- it gave al qaeda members a sense that you could establish a religion -- religious government. host: a former -- daniel green is a fellow at the washington institute for middle east policy. and on the phone, massachusetts. good morning. caller: hello. i want to say that al qaeda gets all of the money from certain deals. [unintelligible]
with profanity. this is not the place for that kind of language. go elsewhere with that. next is st. petersburg, florida. caller: good morning. we talk about ellicott all of the time. i think it is overblown in the american press. throughout the world, it is not as prevalent. we are so quick to blame iran. saudi arabia is way more fundamentalist. they are just as grimy so to speak. they do not treat their women well and all of that other kind of stuff. like any other caller said, when
the taliban was in charge prior to 9/11, there was not as much heroin production in united states. guest: the taliban and the year- end production, when they took over -- hear when production, -- heroin production -- there was too much popping when they took over. poppy when they took over. they wanted to moderate the price so they could get more revenues from it. that is what they told afghan farmers. they were trying to regulate that market and then check the price up more.
that is why they did that when the taliban came in. different people see different things. al qaeda has tried to stay in power with some car -- plane bombings that did not work out. there was a car bomb in times square that did not go off. host: in the next five or six weeks, we will learn more about the plans of the administration in the afghan area. here is a comment from a bird watcher page. will it be?
>> there are many people that would like it to be. the obama administration would like to find a way to reduce the u.s. presence in afghanistan. the withdrawal is based more on a political time frame set in washington, d.c. versus on the ground. instead of looking at it as a rush -- in many ways, we should look at it as a reason to double down in afghanistan. we have started to shift the momentum against the taliban and al qaeda. they have been given some sort of moral support. there are different ways you can lead. you can lead because you are winning. i think you need to double down and commit additional resources and get out in a way that is
victory prevailing. victory prevailing. host: in pakistan, you are not talking about a single strong leader of the red, but a lot of troubles. many are in different parts of the country that may or may not want to work with you. guest: exactly. there are large parts of their territory where they do not control things. the challenge is they have a number of options from general microscope. i think they went through a middle range. i think it would have been more fruitful to go on a larger toward around 80,000 or so. it is a labor-intensive process.
no one wants to be there longer than we should. it depends on what strategy for success is necessary. guest: there are parts of the country that have received additional troops as far as the surge. there are other parts that have not received any troops. they're certain ports that have not received any and their -- and you really have to vote enough resources in areas to protect the population from the insurgency and separate them from the people physically and psychologically. they have to give them the sense that their future lies with the afghan government. it is a question of resources it correctly and we are on the way there. the deadline has really complicated things. we need more resources.
host: website is washington institute.org and sheila is china's from delaware, good morning. caller: my question might be quite naive but i am wondering why americans as a country, why aren't we clearing out the other countries? i know there are innocent people there who are not part of the taliban but if we don't get them all out, i'm talking about the world, let's go over there and build a mosque and put an american flag there. american flag there. guest: she wants us to pull out afghanistan t? pulling out is the easy part and prevailing is the hard part.
we have to address the underlying challenges of afghanistan in a real way. we pulled out of afghanistan in 1980 time and 1992 once the soviets withdrew. that was the realistic view on afghanistan. it was no longer a strategic interest. someone will fill that vacuum and i hope it will be someone more favorable to us. when we pulled out in 1992, that beckham was killed by the taliban -- that vacuum was filled by the taliban. i think we should do this the right way. we don't do it correctly now, we will return to afghanistan in some form or fashion down the road. no one wants to be there longer than we have to be the lead to resources correctly. then we will withdraw based on conditions on the battlefield, not political time lines pri.
host: hundreds of u.s. military bases are on foreign -- foreign soil. do they help or hurt relations? guest: each country has to be taken in their own context and on their own terms. for germany, our troops were there to protect western europe from soviet aggression. from soviet aggression. you have to do this in a sensible way. each type of troop presence there is different. we have no interest in having permanent bases in afghanistan. we will have an enduring relationship with the afghan government and people. we will be their training and equipping a working with their security forces well beyond any sort of large troop presence. host: we have been in south korea for 60 years. >guest: if north korea were to invade, our troops are there and
they will do everything they can to prevent that. through that trip wire, that prompted us to intervene on this -- on the part of south korea. it would be nice to have a universal approach to all these problems. the reality is more complex so we have to take each case individually . host: miami, florida. caller: it seems to me that the past few years we have become almost the police of the world. in my opinion, is it not affecting us in the long run if we don't start pulling troops out? the war on terror -- isn't terror more of a tactic? if we continue to create these relationships with people who have their own issues and problems, what it creates more problems for us?
guest: i think what the caller hits on really well is the sense of exhaustion among some americans that we have been been at war for at least 10 years in afghanistan and iraq as well. there is a sense that maybe sometimes direct u.s. intervention is not the only strategy but it is one of a number of strategies. for example, in libya, the greater emphasis there is working with nato. we are in afghanistan with a number of countries through nato and other non-nato partners. it is a coalition effort and we absolutely shoulder clients share of that. you have to be careful that sometimes the blow back concern sometimes the blow back concern is through our efforts, other actions will come out that will affect us adversely. it is a balancing act we are
drawing down in iraq. in libya, it seems -- we seem to have limited our role there. look at yemen. we are definitely trying to make sure that we don't intervene directly and we work with whatever government might replace their government soon. replace their government soon. crops hosthost: the president ig with all of these issues. there is an excerpt from his remarks. >> even before his death, al- qaeda was losing its struggle for relevance. as the overwhelming majority of people sought that the slaughter of innocents does not add to their cries for a better life. by the time we found bin laden, the al qaeda image -- agenda of king to be seen as a dead-end and the people of the middle east and north africa had taken their future into their own hands. host: based and what the
president said thursday and this headline -- can you exclaim? guest: there is a view that people try to make a distinction between al qaeda and the taliban. they have some different goals but also share many common goals. we have to step back for a second and not focus of what they say but look at it from a pragmatic strategy of survival. again and again, al-qaeda has demonstrated its ability to hook its strategic goals to the interest of local communities and in doing so, garner support . it has happened numerous times. it is an intellectual distinction to say that the al- qaeda and the taliban are different but they are symbiotic and support each other.
they benefit from each other. it is absolutely an excellent thing that osa -- osama bin laden has been killed but it does not do much to stop terrorism. guest: when we withdrew from afghanistan and stopped our support for the mujahedin, we have a minimalist perspective that this was no longer in our strategic interest. this power vacuum, this society that was racked by war for many years was eventually filled by this young youth movement of its time, the taliban. they fill this vacuum and have an ideology that was much opposed to democracy and human rights. that provided an internal safe haven for al-qaeda and other islamic radicals. what we try to do and
afghanistan is try to establish a type of government that makes enough of the interests of the people that they feel it is their government that will provide people a positive future that will not allow some sort of islamic radicalism regime to return. we have seen that already in the early 1990's when the television came to power. people say there are moderate taliban and more extreme taliban. we allow the taliban to comeback, be prepared for many more afghans committing reprisal killings. host: michigan, good morning. caller: good morning. i spent some time in saudi arabia and bahrain years ago i was once asked by a rare admiral
9 quist -- nyquist my personal thoughts. i stated that i thought we would be at war in that region within 15 years and this is going back to the 1980's. he asked why. i said until the women are allowed to raise their sons as they see fit, these tensions will always be there. to that end, if i concentrate on saudi arabia and most of the moslems in the world look to saudi arabia for guidance, your thoughts on that. how would we be dealing with saudi arabia if it wasn't for their sweet crude oil? that seems to be what we cannot do without. guest: when the founder of
modern day saudi arabia took over and many millions of americans -- many millions of moslems do the haj and that affected what constituted islam. many of these ideas of the whabas has spread. saudi arabia has taken advantage of that. they do not live in a bubble. as much as their views are conservative, they are buffeted by the winds of change. i think the al-qaeda challenge prompted some internal reforms. it is not enough from our perspective but in terms of women's rights, absolutely, we have to pursue women's rights but it goes back to the issue of
blow back. we can do as much as we can directed that these societies will change on their own terms and education is fundamental. we have an initiative along we have an initiative along those lines where we try to work with different voices. social change takes time. the best routes are when it comes out of the country itself and not from abroad. host: it is the washington institute from near east policy. good morning. caller: good morning to both of you. i want to comment on what i call the fictional relationship between the taliban and al qaeda. if you read the former ambassador to pakistan, in his biography, he states that the taliban has little or minimal or no relationship with al qaeda.
as a matter of fact, the taliban are willing to hand over bin laden to an independent court if any evidence was provided by the united states. this overplayed relationship between the taliban and al- qaeda is really not generating any results as to ending the war in afghanistan. the second thing is the taliban pastuns tribaltribal that don't have any fanatical goals. they are more looking toward pastun ruled in al qaeda. guest: i read that book and you are absolutely right. he was a former taliban official and he has an incentive to
stress the few links, if any, the taliban had with al qaeda. he said the taliban are interested in turning over osama bin laden. that had opportunity to do so. you don't see the taliban turning over any al qaeda and they are not informing on them. in terms of the taliban, the thing about the challenge we are in against radicalism is it comes in many different forms. al qaeda is the one we know most prominently. it deals with local regimes that support al qaeda and their goals and ambitions. the pragmatism that of canada has a working with the regime's -- the pragmatism that al-qaeda has in working with these regimes, you have to address the taliban in somalia and other countries. do we have to set up stable governments? host: fla., good morning.
callare you with us? good morning. caller: i am here. i would like to inject a couple of facts into this situation. al qaeda has the strength of a boy scout troop and cannot in any way, shape, or form heard america. worked -- or implies symmetry. war implies symmetry. war implies symmetry. it is an occupation. afghanistan and iraq will be occupied by america for the rest of the century and well beyond. this is how many americans have died since 9/11.
one american has died due to terrorism. the lame bomb attacks are used as an excuse. those are excuses to allow this to go on. osama bin laden is dead and it is well past time to leave afghanistan. we're only there to kill civilians. guest: i am not into propaganda. the reality is thousands of americans have died. , not only on 9/11. your opponent is not necessarily measured on how many people there are but we have had a number of examples recently. there was the underwear bomber who tried to block a plant near denver. you have the package bombings. he may not be interested in war
but war is interested in you. that is the reality. that is the reality. is al qaeda trying to take advantage of the air of spring? guest: there is a view out there that the arabs bring, this spontaneous movement by the people in the middle east to turn against these regimes that have been long in power, is evidence that al qaeda's vision and goals have been repudiated by the people. there is some truth to that. al qaeda has hitched its course to this effort if only to be on the side that wins. al qaeda does well in places that are unstable. my thought is they are likely to exploit the unsettled nature of many of these countries to partner with groups that might be inclined toward their believes or have a common enemy.
i was surprised at how many people interact with and briefings to what i call basically researchers. it was valuable research. they were becoming expert in a particular country. but most, not all, but most of what they were doing was from open sources. that is necessary, actually very important. but not what i think the public feels is the cia, and things of
that as the operators and the clandestine workers. those other two interesting suggestions. let me talk about another one that does relate to the bin laden case, and witches, -- which is, as you indicated in your opening statement, military authorizations authorized by the president and you have a title 50 covering covert authority. in the case of bin laden, the president gave the authority to the director of the cia, which was interesting, under title 50, although necessarily, i would say and dr. panetta has been very open and enthusiastic about this, he called on the special operations command at
moment craven -- admiral mc craven, he called that under title 10. so you make a good case for a title "60," and let me ask you to develop that a bit. i presume it comes from the fact that a lot of the question and answer, a lot of what the intelligence operators are doing today is inherently drawing from this. what would be the benefit of a title 60? >> let me illustrated by a well- known bad example since that is always instructed. >> yes. >> if you recall when we get into that does stand -- when we got into afghanistan, and a cia
officer famously wrote in moneybags between their legs and they started reaching their role the context, paying the money, at the northern alliance, and secretary rumsfeld was impatient that these special forces were not there yet. there were slow, they were getting into place, ready to jump. never again will the ldp getting into one of these -- their work takes -- there was explicit competition between those two groups to get in and do the same job. tragically when a number of cia agents were killed with a group of afghans who had been taken prisoner, and the cia officials were outnumbered and beaten to death, the military backup for that was not readily available.
and yet it is one country, one president, one congress, one set of authorities. what we need to do is put the best capabilities of the defense department that apply to this problem together with the capabilities that the cia can bring, integrated staff, so that you have knowledgeable direction, and use everything. whether they are using all of the skills that the cia has developed in terms of working with foreign intelligence services, being able -- the cia has much more budget flexibility. it is very useful, but having these huge backups, logistics, firepower that the department of defense can bring to bear is also important. what i want for the country is to do both. let's not have the president make a decision to give this one to the cia or this one to the department of defense.
the other thing that has happened is that the definition of covert action under title 50 has really changed since the cold war, when when it was invented. it was basically to make actions deniable so that we could take legal action against the soviet union in the areas around the world. we could officially deny it. we would not risk escalation to world war iii. if there was an operation that was less intended to be deniable than two weeks ago, the rate on on osama bin laden, i have no idea what it is. the traditional understanding of what a covert action, we were going to do it, there would be soldiers and sailors and say, 5000 people probably involved in that operation from the very beginning. then we were going to do it. why? because it was a job that was not being done by a country that
we call on to do it and we felt that we had to do it ourselves. those the nature of the challenge that we faced, al qaeda and its affiliates, drug cartels, all laws, operations of various kinds, even some outlaw countries. it is not just the state boundaries cold war that we invented plausible deniability to take care of. and in addition, a lot of these campaigns go on for a long time like our current campaign in afghanistan. if there was a less well publicized cia action than drones in pakistan, i do not know what that one is either. cia officers called reporters and tell them about what happened on a routine basis. i think these definitions are getting into our way and not helping us. what they set up is a competition for who is in
charge. >> yes. thatther than a mechanize sosm both sides can bring to bear. there are some weighty questions. title 10 entitles holders protection under the geneva convention and other status forces agreement. title 50 would have to be designed in a way, it is it that they are still soldiers when they are captured, etc.? at one of those helicopters gone down in north waziristan in an and a tread had killed six people there, i doubt they would of been motivated by the geneva convention. similarly, who does this group report to and who is accountable to in congress? >> speaking about that, entitled 50 there is a requirement quite
limited. under title 10, special operators are operating all the time. with no notification for congress. how would you balance that? >> within title 60, i would say that both intelligence committee and on services committees need to be notified. there was a somewhat similar operation that i was involved in when i was an dni form a joint briefing team, we talk to the leadership of both houses, both parties, a very sensitive operation that involved military and the intelligence community actions. and the world and not come to an end. they asked good tough questions and we were able to answer that. i think we can do the notification part of it well. i think we need ways to draw that capability together for the country. >> who was in charge of one of
the joint task force is? >> i will look at it and say, you know that this is a mixed set of skills here. on balance, it isn't 51 intelligence and 49 military, or the other way around? i would choose the lead commander on that basis. but the deputy i would take from the other departments so that you have the two top people bringing both sets of skills to bear. and i would make sure that those two top people have qualifications and experience with operating with the other agencies, similar to the way that we do it with joint commanders. i would makes them and i had the staff makes all the skills available to spark that synergy and keep from doing something stupid and either the intelligence or military realm. >> would be dni always be
involved in one of these joint task forces? >> his involvement would be comparable to the secretary of defense's final approval for the plan, the approval of the commander, and in concurrence with the deputy, and then if you are a good dni, if you've given them a good direction coming you let them roll. i understood of what happened during those hours of the raid, they sat there and lead the people who are right there make the decisions. that is the way it ought to run. >> those are very interesting ideas. i think within the rules of the geneva convention, i have interrogated you enough today. you have been extremely helpful. senator collins and i'd talked about it on the floor. you've given us some ideas, not quite sure what we will do from here.
i could recommend some additional legislation if it makes sense. some of these really do and in other cases we may issue a report and make recommendations to the president or to the dni. but if you are willing, i reserve the right to reach out and just call you on the phone or ask you to come in and talk about the direction in which we are going. the combination of your experiences in service of the country is really quite unique. and very helpful. the independence now out of office to make some suggestions that people in office sometimes do not make. this is what i have to look for two after january of 2013. >> we hope that we can call in your wisdom after that date. >> i thank you.
i think your wife for being here. i even think my friend for decades, roger house, your friend and counselor, for being here. we will keep the record of the hearing opened for 15 days for any additional questions or statements. but great things to you for what you have contributed today. the hearing is adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
house majority leader eric cantor of virginia also spoke this afternoon at the annual policy conference of the american israel public conference committee in washington. his remarks for about 20 minutes. >> it's great to be here. i'm really honored to be able to address you at the afternoon plenary of aipac's policy conference, the biggest ever. [applause] as i look out, i see 10,000 people, young and old, who have come to washington from around the country -- not for personal enrichment or gain, not out of
concern for your industries or businesses, but out of deep affection for a fellow democracy, israel. [applause] we are all here because we know that america is at its best when it stands with allies that share our values. [applause] like many of you, i am the descendant of immigrants to america. my grandparents came to this country nearly a century ago from russia. they passed through new york harbor and the statue of liberty on the way to a better, freer life. my grandmother was widowed at a young age. and she eventually made her home in a predominately african
american section of richmond, virginia. she raised my father and my uncle in a tiny apartment above a grocery store that she owned. through hard work, perseverance , and faith -- the very values on which america is built -- she lifted herself up into the middle class, and even sent her two children to college. but never did she dare to dream that her grandson would someday be a member of congress, much less the majority leader of the u.s. house. [applause] when i grew up, my parents were among the few jews actively involved in local politics.
from them, i learned the value of community involvement in shaping our future. one of my most vivid memories as a child came on that fateful yom kippur day in 1973. i was just 10 years old. i remember standing on the steps in front of the synagogue after services let out. i heard grown-ups around me talking about israel being attacked on the holiest day of the calendar. i heard them recall what it was like to live as a jew before israel came into being. they feared that those days might return. that experience was etched into my memory. it was only years later that i truly understood the critical role america can play in coming to the aid of a fellow democracy.
visitors to our country often ask, "why is it that america and israel are so close?" there are many answers to this question. yes, israel is a critical pillar of u.s. national security. yes, israel fights on the front line against radical islam. and yes, a strong israel provides a more stable and hospitable middle east for u.s. interests. our strategic ties to israel are important. but there's something much deeper that binds our two nations. there's something that americans identify with on a gut level -- something i see every time steny hoyer and i take members to israel. when members of congress stand on the shores of the sea of galilee, when we listen to the
words of the sermon on the mount, and when we walk the stations of the cross, the names and places that people read about in their sunday school studies come alive right before their eyes. it is emotional. it is profound. and to our christian brethren among us, we salute you and appreciate your solidarity and support. [applause] israel cherishes the values we do. israel represents the triumph of the human spirit over impossible odds. israel represents a fierce
dedication to saving and improving life for all. israel's spirit lives through its people. in 1942, a boy was slipped by his parents off a train bound for the gas chambers of auschwitz. by a stroke of luck, a catholic woman in a nearby polish village took him in and hid him in her cupboard. after the war was finally over, that boy immigrated to israel to begin a new life. today, his son, dr. ofer merin, heads up the now-famous medical field hospital that travels the world in the wake of natural disasters. [applause] just three days after the earthquake in haiti last year, dr. merin was there helping save lives. and this year, his unit treated the wounded in remote areas
hardest hit by japan's deadly tsunami. no question, israel joins america in leading the way to save lives and help feed the world. [applause] yet today the 2000-year-old dream of the state of israel is in jeopardy. there is no other nation on earth so routinely denied its right to exist and threatened with destruction. recent developments in the region have moved iran out of the headlines, but it is undeniable -- the specter of a nuclear iran looms larger than ever. we must never take our eye off iran. [applause] and that's why congress will soon pass the bipartisan iran
threat reduction act, making it official u.s. policy to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. [applause] plain and simple, if you do business with iran, you cannot do business with america. meanwhile, during this arab spring, we all hope that freedom will take a leap forward in the middle east. and we will do everything we can to support institutions of democracy and civil society. yet the truth is, there is much uncertainty. however, there is one thing for
certain -- america must do everything in its power to keep israel strong and secure. the longstanding anti-israel, anti-semitic vitriol persists. but the world must no longer turn a deaf ear. it's time for america to lead. [applause] to the emerging governments of the middle east, america must clearly state -- it is not okay to vilify israel. it is not okay to demonize jews. and it's time to stop scapegoating israel. [applause]
nearly 7,000 miles away, israel fights the same war we do. we share a common enemy in iran and its terrorist proxies who seek nuclear weapons. so, my message to you this afternoon is this -- if israel goes, we all go. in order for us to win this great struggle, we must have the courage to see the world not as we wish it to be, but as it truly is. [applause] it is not morally equivalent when the offenses of terrorists are equated with the defenses of israel. [applause]
the following story illustrates israel's dilemma. a palestinian woman from gaza arrives at soroka hospital in beersheba for lifesaving skin treatment for burns over half her body. after the conclusion of her extensive treatment, the woman is invited back for follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic. one day she is caught at the border crossing wearing a suicide belt. her intention? to blow herself up at the same clinic that saved her life. what kind of culture leads one to do that? sadly, it is a culture infused with resentment and hatred. it is this culture that underlies the palestinians' and the broader arab world's
and until israel's enemies come to terms with this reality, a true peace will be impossible. and the reality, as we say in hebrew, is "ahm yisrael chai -- the people of israel live." and what they want is to live in peace. if the palestinians want to live in peace in a state of their own, they must demonstrate that they are worthy of a state. to mr. abbas, i say -- stop the incitement in your media and your schools. stop naming public squares and athletic teams after suicide bombers. and come to the negotiating table when you have prepared your people to forego hatred and renounce terrorism -- and israel will embrace you. [applause]
until that day, there can be no peace with hamas. peace at any price isn't peace, it's surrender. [applause] all of us here today are heirs to a rich tradition of zionism that has its roots in america's founding. the colonists, including ben franklin and thomas jefferson, saw themselves as a new israel crossing to the promised land.
i have the great privilege of holding james madison's seat in the congress. he spent a year at princeton learning to speak hebrew. like many others, john adams marveled at the prospect of "a hundred thousand israelites" returning to the land of israel and creating an "independent nation" in their ancestral and religious homeland. one hundred ninety years later, adams's vision has been realized. never before in the history of mankind have a people, forcibly removed from their land for thousands of years, returned -- just as the bible promised. [applause]
in this time of extraordinary challenge for israel and for america, we simply cannot afford to become complacent. we must rise to the challenge before us and shape history. israel deserves america's friendship in reality -- not just in rhetoric. [applause] words and promises come and go. only deeds count. [applause] there is a time for talk, but now is the time for action. there is a time for dreaming, but now is the time for doing. there is a time for following, but now is the time to lead from the front. for the survival of israel, for
the security of america and peace of the world, now is that time and right here is the place to begin. thank you all very, very much. thank you. ♪ [applause] >> president obama addressed an annual policy conference of the american israel public affairs committee, or a pack. this came after his meeting with benjamin netanyahu. he reaffirmed the u.s. commitment to israel's security.
this is half an hour. >> good morning. thank you very much. [applause] good morning. thank you. thank you so much. please, have a seat. thank you. what a remarkable, remarkable crowd. thank you, rosy, for your very kind introduction. i did not know you played basketball. [laughter] i will take your word for it. [laughter] rosy, thank you for your many years of friendship. back in chicago, when i was just getting started in national politics, i reached out to a lot of people for advice and counsel, and rosy was one of the very first. when i made my first visit to israel, after entering the senate, rosy, you were at my side every step of that profound journey through the
holy land. so i want to thank you for your enduring friendship, your leadership, and for your warm introduction today. i also want to thank david victor, howard kohr and all the board of directors. and let me say that it is wonderful to look out and see so many great friends, including a very large delegation from chicago. [applause] alan solow, howard green. thank you all. i want to thank the members of congress who are joining you today -- who do so much to sustain the bonds between the united states and israel, including eric cantor. [applause] steny hoyer. [applause] and the tireless leader i was proud to appoint as the new chair of the dnc, debbie
wasserman schultz. [applause] we're joined by israel's representative to the united states, ambassador michael oren. [applause] and we're joined by one of my top advisors on israel and the middle east for the past four years and who i know is going to be an outstanding ambassador to israel, dan shapiro. [applause] dan has always been a close and trusted advisor and friend, and i know that he will do a terrific job. and at a time when so many young people around the world are standing up and making their voices heard, i also want to acknowledge all the college students from across the country who are here today. [applause]
no one has a greater stake in the outcome of events that are unfolding today than your generation, and it's inspiring to see you devote your time and energy to help shape that future. now, i'm not here to subject you to a long policy speech. i gave one on thursday in which i said that the united states sees the historic changes sweeping the middle east and north africa as a moment of great challenge, but also a moment of opportunity for greater peace and security for the entire region, including the state of israel. on friday, i was joined at the white house by prime minister netanyahu, and we reaffirmed -- [applause] we reaffirmed that fundamental truth that has guided our
presidents and prime ministers for more than 60 years -- that even while we may at times disagree, as friends sometimes will, the bonds between the united states and israel are unbreakable. [applause] and the commitment of the united states to the security of israel is ironclad. [applause] a strong and secure israel is in the national security interest of the united states not simply because we share strategic interests, although we do both seek a region where families and children can live free from the threat of violence.
it's not simply because we face common dangers, although there can be no denying that terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons are grave threats to both our nations. america's commitment to israel's security flows from a deeper place -- and that's the values we share. as two people who struggled to win our freedom against overwhelming odds, we understand that preserving the security for which our forefathers -- and foremothers -- fought must be the work of every generation. as two vibrant democracies, we recognize that the liberties and freedoms we cherish must be constantly nurtured. and as the nation that recognized the state of israel moments after its independence, we have a profound commitment to its survival as a strong, secure homeland for the jewish people.
[applause] we also know how difficult that search for security can be, especially for a small nation like israel living in a very tough neighborhood. i've seen it firsthand. when i touched my hand against the western wall and placed my prayer between its ancient stones, i thought of all the centuries that the children of israel had longed to return to their ancient homeland. when i went to sderot and saw the daily struggle to survive in the eyes of an eight-year- old boy who lost his leg to a hamas rocket, and when i walked among the hall of names at yad vashem, i was reminded of the
existential fear of israelis when a modern dictator seeks nuclear weapons and threatens to wipe israel off the face of the map -- face of the earth. because we understand the challenges israel faces, i and my administration have made the security of israel a priority. it's why we've increased cooperation between our militaries to unprecedented levels. it's why we're making our most advanced technologies available to our israeli allies. [applause] it's why, despite tough fiscal times, we've increased foreign military financing to record levels. [applause] and that includes additional support - beyond regular military aid - for the iron dome anti-rocket system.
[applause] a powerful example of american- israeli cooperation -- a powerful example of american- israeli cooperation which has already intercepted rockets from gaza and helped saved israeli lives. so make no mistake, we will maintain israel's qualitative military edge. [applause] you also see our commitment to our shared security in our determination to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. [applause] here in the united states, we've imposed the toughest sanctions ever on the iranian regime. [applause] at the united nations, under our leadership, we've secured the most comprehensive
international sanctions on the regime, which have been joined by allies and partners around the world. today, iran is virtually cut off from large parts of the international financial system, and we're going to keep up the pressure. so let me be absolutely clear - we remain committed to preventing iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. [applause] its illicit nuclear program is just one challenge that iran poses. as i said on thursday, the iranian government has shown its hypocrisy by claiming to support the rights of protesters while treating its own people with brutality. moreover, iran continues to support terrorism across the
region, including providing weapons and funds to terrorist organizations. so we will continue to work to prevent these actions, and we will stand up to groups like hezbollah, who exercise political assassination and seek to impose their will through rockets and car bombs. you also see our commitment to israel's security in our steadfast opposition to any attempt to de-legitimize the state of israel. [applause] as i said at the united nations last year, "israel's existence must not be a subject for debate," and "efforts to chip away at israel's legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the united states." [applause]
so when the durban review conference advanced anti-israel sentiment, we withdrew. in the wake of the goldstone report, we stood up strongly for israel's right to defend itself. [applause] when an effort was made to insert the united nations into matters that should be resolved through direct negotiations between israelis and palestinians, we vetoed it. [applause] and so, in both word and deed, we have been unwavering in our support of israel's security. [applause] and it is precisely because of our commitment to israel's long-term security that we have
worked to advance peace between israelis and palestinians. now, i have said repeatedly that core issues can only be negotiated in direct talks between the parties. [applause] and i indicated on thursday that the recent agreement between fatah and hamas poses an enormous obstacle to peace. [applause] no country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction. [applause] and we will continue to demand that hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace, including recognizing israel's right to exist and rejecting violence and adhering to all existing agreements. [applause]
and we once again call on hamas to release gilad shalit, who has been kept from his family for five long years. [applause] and yet, no matter how hard it may be to start meaningful negotiations under current circumstances, we must acknowledge that a failure to try is not an option. the status quo is unsustainable. and that is why on thursday i stated publicly the principles that the united states believes can provide a foundation for negotiations toward an agreement to end the conflict and all claims -- the broad outlines of which have been
known for many years, and have been the template for discussions between the united states, israel, and the palestinians since at least the clinton administration. i know that stating these principles -- on the issues of territory and security -- generated some controversy over the past few days. [laughter] i wasn't surprised. i know very well that the easy thing to do, particularly for a president preparing for reelection, is to avoid any controversy. i don't need rahm to tell me that. don't need axelrod to tell me that. but i said to prime minister netanyahu, i believe that the current situation in the middle east does not allow for
procrastination. i also believe that real friends talk openly and honestly with one another. [applause] so i want to share with you some of what i said to the prime minister. here are the facts we all must confront. first, the number of palestinians living west of the jordan river is growing rapidly and fundamentally reshaping the demographic realities of both israel and the palestinian territories. this will make it harder and harder -- without a peace deal -- to maintain israel as both a jewish state and a democratic state. second, technology will make it harder for israel to defend itself in the absence of a genuine peace.
third, a new generation of arabs is reshaping the region. a just and lasting peace can no longer be forged with one or two arab leaders. going forward, millions of arab citizens have to see that peace is possible for that peace to be sustained. and just as the context has changed in the middle east, so too has it been changing in the international community over the last several years. there's a reason why the palestinians are pursuing their interests at the united nations. they recognize that there is an impatience with the peace process, or the absence of one, not just in the arab world -- in latin america, in asia, and in europe. and that impatience is growing, and it's already manifesting itself in capitals around the world.
and those are the facts. i firmly believe, and i repeated on thursday, that peace cannot be imposed on the parties to the conflict. no vote at the united nations will ever create an independent palestinian state. and the united states will stand up against efforts to single israel out at the united nations or in any international forum. [applause] israel's legitimacy is not a matter for debate. that is my commitment, that is my pledge to all of you. [applause] moreover, we know that peace demands a partner - which is why i said that israel cannot be expected to negotiate with palestinians who do not recognize its right to exist. [applause] and we will hold the palestinians accountable for their actions and for their
rhetoric. [applause] but the march to isolate israel internationally -- and the impulse of the palestinians to abandon negotiations - will continue to gain momentum in the absence of a credible peace process and alternative. and for us to have leverage with the palestinians, to have leverage with the arab states and with the international community, the basis for negotiations has to hold out the prospect of success. and so, in advance of a five- day trip to europe in which the middle east will be a topic of acute interest, i chose to speak about what peace will require. there was nothing particularly original in my proposal. this basic framework for negotiations has long been the basis for discussions among the parties, including previous u.s. administrations.
since questions have been raised, let me repeat what i actually said on thursday -- not what i was reported to have said. i said that the united states believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent palestinian borders with israel, jordan, and egypt, and permanent israeli borders with palestine. the borders of israel and palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps -- [applause] so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. the palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state. as for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and israel must be able to defend itself - by itself - against any threat.
[applause] provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security. [applause] and a full and phased withdrawal of israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign and non-militarized state. [applause] and the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated. [applause] now, that is what i said. and it was my reference to the 1967 lines -- with mutually agreed swaps -- that received the lion's share of the attention, including just now. and since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what "1967
lines with mutually agreed swaps" means. by definition, it means that the parties themselves - israelis and palestinians - will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on june 4, 1967. [applause] that's what mutually agreed- upon swaps means. it is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. it allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years. [applause] it allows the parties themselves to take account of those changes, including the new demographic realities on the ground, and the needs of both sides.
the ultimate goal is two states for two people -- israel as a jewish state and the homeland for the jewish people. [applause] and the state of palestine as the homeland for the palestinian people -- each state in joined self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace. [applause] if there is a controversy, then, it's not based in substance. what i did on thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately. i've done so because we can't afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades to achieve peace. [applause] the world is moving too fast. the world is moving too fast.
the extraordinary challenges facing israel will only grow. delay will undermine israel's security and the peace that the israeli people deserve. now, i know that some of you will disagree with this assessment. i respect that. and as fellow americans and friends of israel, i know we can have this discussion. ultimately, it is the right and the responsibility of the israeli government to make the hard choices that are necessary to protect a jewish and democratic state for which so many generations have sacrificed. [applause] and as a friend of israel, i'm committed to doing our part to see that this goal is realized. and i will call not just on
israel, but on the palestinians, on the arab states, and the international community to join us in this effort, because the burden of making hard choices must not be israel's alone. [applause] but even as we do all that's necessary to ensure israel's security, even as we are clear- eyed about the difficult challenges before us, and even as we pledge to stand by israel through whatever tough days lie ahead, i hope we do not give up on that vision of peace. for if history teaches us anything, if the story of israel teaches us anything, it is that with courage and resolve, progress is possible. peace is possible. the talmud teaches us that, "so long as a person still has life, they should never abandon faith."
and that lesson seems especially fitting today. for so long as there are those across the middle east and beyond who are standing up for the legitimate rights and freedoms which have been denied by their governments, the united states will never abandon our support for those rights that are universal. and so long as there are those who long for a better future, we will never abandon our pursuit of a just and lasting peace that ends this conflict with two states living side by side in peace and security. this is not idealism. it is not naivete. it is a hard-headed recognition that a genuine peace is the only path that will ultimately provide for a peaceful palestine as the homeland of the palestinian people and a jewish state of israel as the homeland of the jewish people. [applause] that is my goal, and i look forward to continuing to work with aipac to achieve that goal. thank you. god bless you.